Do your children love to cook with you in the kitchen? Getting your children interested in cooking teaches them about the connection between ingredients and the foods they eat. The greater St. Louis, Missouri, area offers children the opportunity to engage their creativity and imagination in the kitchen with kids’ cooking classes just for them. Discover some of the in-person and virtual cooking classes available to your children.

ABC Chefs Cooking Academy

A child participates in a cooking class in Ellisville, Missouri.

Food Preparation” via Pexels by Daria Obymaha

When schools are out, the ABC Chefs Cooking Academy is in. The academy offers dynamic cooking summer camp experiences for children ages 5 to 15 at its Chesterfield Mall location. Each week of camp focuses on a specific theme. The camps provide materials, setup, food prep, and cleanup. All that kids need to do is have fun. 

These cooking camps give participants the ability to explore international and U.S. cuisine. Students participate in age categories to ensure an age-appropriate learning experience. Each day, the young chefs will prepare three to four recipes from scratch and taste test the foods they prepare at the end of each dish.

Summer 2021 cooking camp program topics include the tastes of Italy, bakeshop favorites, master chef junior camp, international foods, and foods from across America. Morning camp sessions run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and afternoon camps are held from 1 to 5 p.m. Register through the ABC Chefs Cooking Academy website

Location: Chesterfield Mall, 291 Chesterfield Center, Chesterfield 

Telephone: 636-543-8650

At Home with Vicki Bensinger

St. Louis culinary instructor Vicki Bensinger has spent close to 30 years teaching techniques and helping individuals from professional chefs to home cooks master the art of preparing foods. In 2004, she embarked on a solo enterprise, At Home with Vicki Bensinger, to offer in-home culinary classes to adults and children. Believing that anyone can acquire the skills to become a great cook, Bensinger guides individuals through her recipes in a way that focuses on the development of techniques and skill-building. Through her blog, virtual, and in-person instruction, adults and children become more confident about their cooking abilities in the kitchen.

Bensinger’s children’s classes are ideal for children 7 and older. Previous clients have commented on her ability to keep children focused and engaged in the cooking at hand while offering patience and flexibility. Bensinger works with you to create the menu for the class then arrives at your home with all the essential ingredients and supplies for in-person instruction or provides a list of all the ingredients and supplies you’ll need for virtual cooking instruction. At the end of the experience, you’ll get all the recipes prepared during the presentation. Recreate the dishes and foods you and your child have learned to prepare again and again. 

Contact: Contact Vicki Bensinger for details on hosting an in-home culinary class or a private online class.

Kitchen Conservatory

Children mix dough together during a kids' cooking class in Ellisville, MO

Person Holding Brown Wooden Spoon” via Pexels by RODNAE Productions

Located in St. Louis, the Kitchen Conservatory presents more than 900 different cooking classes each year taught by experienced chefs and talented culinary instructors. The “Heir and a Parent” series focuses on specific topics per class. Recipes presented are simple enough for children to master, and the class presentation offers just enough information to keep kids interested without overwhelming them. 

The following in-person programs are examples of topics you and your children can explore together at the Kitchen Conservatory. Children must be at least 7 years old to attend and at least one parent must accompany them. Register for these classes through the Kitchen Conservatory’s website.

  • Heir and a Parent – A Toast to Mom: Discover how to prepare the very best brunch for Mother’s Day. Foods prepared include bacon-cheese mini quiches with sun-dried tomatoes, Caesar crostini with grilled chicken, lemony asparagus and artichoke pasta salad, strawberry cheesecake bites, and flourless chocolate cookies. 
  • Heir and a Parent – What’s Your Candy Rush? Culinary instructor Amanda Anderson shares a taste of the sweet life in this class with recipes for making colorful marshmallow popcorn balls with sprinkle add-ins, Kool-Aid taffy, and orange jelly jewels.
  • Heir and a Parent – Crank Out the Pasta: Learn the art of pasta making. Culinary instructor Lydia Gwin demonstrates preparing pasta dough for homemade spaghetti and fettuccine, accompanied by meatballs and marinara and Alfredo sauces.

Location: 8021 Clayton Road, St. Louis

Telephone: 314-862-2665

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Maggiano’s Little Italy is a restaurant enterprise that serves guests the best of Italian-American cuisine in comfortable restaurant environments that make everyone who gathers at the table feel like they’re dining at home. With its emphasis on fresh ingredients and offering the best guest experience possible in its dining spaces, Maggiano’s Little Italy aims to make every person feel special.

Aspiring young chefs in your family can enjoy cooking up some fun thanks to Maggiano’s kids’ cooking classes. These classes teach basic cooking skills to children ages 5 to 12. The hands-on approach to the classes allow kids to practice their kitchen techniques to create a Maggiano’s specialty that they can take home to enjoy with their family. 

In addition to the cooking classes, Maggiano’s also hosts a Little Chef’s Birthday Bash, which provides a full-on culinary experience for children to enjoy. During the event, a Maggiano’s chef will guide participants through the preparation of one of the restaurant’s dishes, such as jumbo stuffed shells, lasagna, or Italian flatbread. 

Maggiano’s provides a lunch buffet for all children. The party concludes with a build-your-own ice cream sundae bar featuring imaginative toppings. 

Maggiano’s Little Chef’s Birthday Bash fees are $25 per child plus tax. One adult per child must be present during the activity.

Location: #2 The Boulevard St. Louis, Richmond Heights

Telephone: 314-824-2402

Allow your junior chef to get creative in the kitchen with these engaging and fun cooking classes. Your child will come away from these experiences with a new appreciation for the foods they eat. What did you think about our list of kids’ cooking classes? Have you and your child attended one in the area that we didn’t include in this article? Contact us at Crème de la Crème and let us know. We’d love to share your favorites with our parents and families.